“For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise for the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil” (Romans 13:3-4).
What has been stated above in Paul’s epistle to the Romans spoke of a civil society where law and order prevailed. Very much the case, pre COVID! It was all straightforward; the law-abiding citizen could savor a potpourri of liberties, whereas those who crossed the line were heavily penalized. So long as people did not kill, steal and cheat, they could move about with minimal disruption from the powers that be. The bad crowd would risk numerous interruptions and more than necessary invasions to their lives because they chose the evil path. Simply said, wrath was executed on those who were running counter to the common good.
As the new year kicks off, a lot of people might be questioning the efficacy, if not relevance, of the above-mentioned verses of Scripture. This being the case when they witness the rapid erosion of the time-honored legislative process whereby laws could be introduced, modified and even repealed – all done in a climate of consultation. Nobody envisaged a scenario like what is cause for worldwide worries on the part of the average law-abiding individual. Mandates are indeed alien to many in the United States plus a host of countries in the western world. Many would only see this style of governance in failed states like Venezuela and Myanmar.
Sadly speaking, it has become a shocking reality in once laid-back nations like Australia. The smooth flow of daily living has without question been brutally torn apart for the average ordinary citizen. They are cruelly subject to a plethora of inconveniences that, over time, will morph into being a form of institutionalization! The roughneck bunch with lengthy rap sheets might be familiar with this, but what about the folks that have walked a straight line all their lives? Enough for no shortage of flabbergasted ones thumping tables with their fists and yelling ‘absolute insanity’ as they struggle to make sense of the times.
The wounds are not spared from the unfriendly salt that is rubbed by the thuggish force of an unbelievably wicked nature. Criminals are getting away scot-free for serious felonies. Clearly an incentive to run riot, to shoplift and break into homes. All this against a backdrop of demoralized and defunded law enforcement agencies. You can forget about safe streets and snug security in the comfort of whichever dwelling.
At this very moment, some folks will be querying the two verses mentioned at the beginning of the article. They could view this as a misstep in their fit of angst. But dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, hold your horses on this particular one. When the apostle Paul penned this loving letter to the Romans, it was at the start of the Age of Grace – so all that was stipulated applied to the situation which prevailed. Nothing likened to the days of Lot, which all of us are witnessing at point-blank range!
What was the dominant characteristic of Lot’s time and Noah’s days? Lawlessness! Lawlessness has existed since the fall of man but not to the degree since the time of these Biblical figures, definitely not compared to our present day. It is clear-cut and, by all means, full-blown. Good is penalized, and wickedness is rewarded before our eyes (Isaiah 5: 20) as things move toward a society possessed by a reprobate mind (Romans 1:28).
“For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way” (2 Thess 2:7).
This is why we are seeing all this before our eyes and hearing it before our ears. It is the tail end where the Age of Grace is concerned. The Restrainer could be taken out at any moment in the twinkling of an eye when we will go with Him and be with Him forevermore!
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